Skip to content

Kathleen Coyne Kelly

Professor of English

Kathleen Coyne Kelly has published in Arthuriana, Exemplaria, postmedieval, Studies in Philology, and Year’s Work in Studies in Medievalism. She is the author of Performing Virginity and Testing Chastity in the Middle Ages and A. S. Byatt, and co-editor (with Marina Leslie) of Menacing Virgins: Representing Virginity in the Middle Ages and Renaissance, co-editor (with Tison Pugh) of Queer Movie Medievalisms and Chaucer on Screen: Absence, Presence, and Adapting the Canterbury Tales. She is currently working on a book, Lost and Invented Ecologies: Studies in Medieval Literature, in which she reads medieval literary texts as witnesses to natural places that no longer exist or that have changed dramatically. She is also collaborating on another book, Arthurian Tourism and English Heritage (with Susan Aronstein, Laurie Finke, and Martin Shichtman).

In recent years, she has developed an interest in Henry David Thoreau, and, with graduate and undergraduate students, is creating a public, online, searchable and annotatable database of all the drawings that Henry David Thoreau included in his Journal, and is writing a book, ‘a pencil is one of the best eyes’: Thoreau’s Journal Drawings,” in which she examines the function, historical context, and overall significance of the drawings.

She is looking for an agent for the first volume of a polymorphously perverse, post-apocalyptic, ecotopic cyberpunk trilogy.

  • “Medievalism.” Henry David Thoreau in Context. Ed. James Finley. Cambridge Literature in Context Series. Cambridge University Press. Under contract.
  • “Stranded Objects / Stranded Whales.” Middle Shore Project. Project Convener, Lara Farina. Electric Press. In development.
  • Chaucer on Screen: Absence, Presence, and Adapting the Canterbury Tales. Ed. with Tison Pugh. Foreword by Terry Jones. Interventions: New Studies in Medieval Culture. Ohio State University Press. 2016.
  • Arthurian Things.” Arthuriana 25.4 (2015): 94-107. Winner of the James Randall Leader Prize for 2015.
  • “Lost Geographies, Remembrance, and The Awntyrs off Arthure.” The Politics of Ecology: Land, Life and Law in Medieval Britain. Ed. Randy P. Schiff and Joseph Taylor. Interventions: New Studies in Medieval Culture. Ohio State University Press, 2016. 232-65.
  • Thoreau’s Flute, or, ‘the Moose, the Pine Tree, & the Indian.’” The Concord Saunterer: A Journal of Thoreau Studies N.S. 22 (2014): 22-35.
  • “Flea and ANT: Mapping the Mobility of the Plague, 1330s-1350s.” postmedieval 4.2 (2013): 219-32.

Related Schools & Departments


Course catalog
  • Fantasy Literature

    ENGL 3572

    Introduces students to the broadly defined history, cultural contexts, and social functions of fantasy (characterized by imaginary or parallel worlds, magic, magical creatures and objects, and magicians, as well as the supernatural) across a variety of forms and media: poetry, short fiction, novels, film, art, music, and games.

  • Focuses on a particular aspect of medieval or Renaissance British literature, such as medieval romance or Renaissance representations of gender and sexuality.

  • May consider the following: Anglo Saxon literature (including poems such as Beowulf, Judith, The Wanderer, The Seafarer, and a selection of prose); the poems of the Pearl Poet (Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Pearl, Cleanness); women and/in the Middle Ages; medieval literature and medievalism; the medieval romance, Malory’s Morte Darthur; religious, mystical, and didactic works; medieval travel literature; or William Langland’s Piers Plowman.